The chairman of the Palestinian Journalists' Association, Abd al-Nasser al-Najjar, has called on Palestinian institutions to prepare for "an information war against Israel" over Wikipedia. His statement followed news reports about measures by right-wing activists in Jerusalem to organize efforts to change entries in Wikipedia to give them a more pro-Zionist slant.
Najjar, who recently tried unsuccessfully to lead a boycott by Palestinian journalists of Israeli journalists, said Palestinian journalists and public relations people should be mobilized to make the Wikipedia entries more pro-Palestinian, to counter the fact that the Palestinian media have become victims of Israeli information campaigns.
The Yesha Council, an organization representing Jewish settlements in the West Bank, has begun running a course in "Zionist values." The mainly technical course will teach participants how to write and edit entries in Wikipedia, the largest free encyclopedia in the world. The course will teach people to write entries in Hebrew, with the aim of influencing local public opinion, and in English, to help Israel's worldwide information campaign.
The Yesha Council also announced that it will be awarding a "most outstanding Zionist editor" prize to the person who makes the most Zionist changes to the online, user-compiled encyclopedia over the next four months. The prize is a trip over Israel in a hot air balloon.
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